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San Antonio Probate Blog

Addressing a home with a remaining mortgage during probate

After one's death, surviving family members or other appointed parties have the obligation of settling final affairs. Most Texas residents want to ensure that they leave instructions behind that will help throughout the probate process, but certain details may be difficult to understand. For instance, some parties may have concerns about what will happen to the house if a balance still exists on the mortgage loan.

If a remaining mortgage exists on a person's home after his or her passing, it will be addressed during probate in one of various ways. Heirs may choose to keep the house and the mortgage loan by taking over the loan themselves. In some cases, they may be able to refinance the loan in efforts to obtain better interest rates and other details, but that is not always a viable option.

Chris Cornell's daughter makes estate administration claim

Even years after a person's death, surviving loved ones could face conflicts over the estate. Some issues could revolve around estate administration and whether the actions taken by representatives suit the estate and final wishes of a loved one. Whatever the case, estate issues could cause considerable complications.

Texas residents may be interested in a claim that was recently filed by the daughter of late musician Chris Cornell. According to reports, before his death, Cornell had set up a trust fund that would pay for his daughter's college tuition and other related expenses. The fund has already paid for $42,000 in tuition from Lily Cornell Silver's first year in college. However, she had apparently dropped out of college during her second semester. Now, she is requesting the trust funds though she is no longer enrolled.

What happens if a beneficiary or heir died first?

Whether the death of a loved one was sudden or expected, you have to adjust to life without him or her. As part of the process, the estate requires administration. If you are the executor of the estate, you must complete a multitude of tasks.

Distributing the assets of the estate is one of the last things to do, but one that you need to give some attention to from the beginning. Every heir and beneficiary receives notification about the death. If you discover that someone who was supposed to inherit under the will has died, you will need to figure out what happens to that individual's share of the estate of your loved one.

Executors have duty of addressing final taxes during probate

Settling the final affairs of a loved one's Texas estate goes far beyond simply distributing remaining assets to heirs and beneficiaries. The executor of the estate will need to address numerous tasks during probate that he or she may have little experience handling. For instance, it is up to the executor to ensure that tax-related issues for the estate are addressed properly.

Filing the final tax return is a duty that the executor must handle, and in simple terms, it can seem like a relatively straightforward task. For an unmarried decedent, the executor will file the appropriate tax form -- Form 1040 -- and the information for that form will adhere to the dates from January 1 through the date of the decedent's passing. Of course, the situation may not be as simple as just filling out the form and filing it. The decedent may have had extenuating financial circumstances to address.

Even temperament important when acting as executor during probate

Many Texas residents may feel that they are well-suited for positions of authority. Still, it is important to understand what tasks and duties are associated with a particular position before agreeing to take on its responsibilities. This is especially important for individuals considering taking on the role of executor in order to complete the probate process for a loved one.

There are several questions that individuals may want to ask themselves before accepting this role. For instance, people may want to ask themselves if they have the right temperament to handle the tasks. Those with fairly even temperaments and who work well under pressure may be suited for this position because it can come with a lot of stress. Additionally, executors have to work with beneficiaries and heirs who could easily become disgruntled if the process takes too long, and having the ability to handle conflict well is important.

Recently found wills may affect Franklin estate administration

After the death of music legend Aretha Franklin in 2018, many people in Texas and across the country were shocked to learn that she did not have a will in place to distribute her remaining assets. As a result, difficulties regarding the estate administration arose. However, recent developments may only have more issues regarding her estate coming to the forefront.

It was recently reported that three handwritten wills had been found in Franklin's home. Two of the wills were found in a locked cabinet and were dated from 2010, and a third document was found under her couch cushions. The third will was dated in 2014. Though some may be relieved to know that these documents were created, they do not necessarily mean that the estate's issues are solved. In fact, the handwritten documents may not be valid under state law.

Probate sometimes requires selling real estate

Handling any type of real estate issues can be a struggle. When the property does not even directly belong to a person, that individual can have even more difficulties. Some Texas residents may wonder why a person who does not own the property would have to handle its problems, but executors could find themselves in this position during probate.

Estate executors have the duty of selling real estate if the action applies to their particular estate. An executor could determine whether he or she needs to complete such a transaction by reviewing the decedent's will. That person may have indicated that property should be sold and proceeds split among heirs or left some other similar instruction. As a result, the executor has the obligation to see the sale through.

Details of estate plans important to executors during probate

Though many Texas residents understand that settling a loved one's final affairs after death is necessary, just as many may not fully know what that entails. Commonly, estates go through the probate process, which gives the executor the opportunity to handle all necessary remaining affairs. However, the process can be complicated.

Hopefully, a loved one will have created at least a will before his or her passing. That document may have designated a person to act as the executor of the estate. This person will be in charge of ensuring that all final affairs are taken care of. If a will does exist, that document can provide some instruction as to how certain tasks should be handled. If no estate planning documents exist, state law will have a say in how assets are distributed and in other aspects of the process.

Tasks and responsibilities of estate executors

When a person agrees to act as the executor of a loved one's estate, he or she agrees to take on a great deal of responsibilities. If you hold this position and now face the tasks associated with settling your recently deceased loved one's estate, you may have many questions about what you will face during this process.

Feeling uncertain about moving forward with any legal process is understandable. It can be nerve-wracking to have so much on your plate, especially after losing a loved one. By gaining more information on what you may face as the executor of the estate, you may feel more confident moving forward.

Probate litigation continues over Prince's estate

Losing a loved one is not an easy experience. Even years after a person's death, complications with the estate can continue to cause turmoil for surviving family. In some cases, probate litigation may continue for an extended period of time if loved ones believe that those involved in handling the estate are not doing so properly.

Texas readers may be interested in the continued issues revolving around late musician Prince's estate. The musical artist died in 2016, and his family -- his half-sister Sharon Nelson in particular --is speaking out against Comerica Bank and Trust, which is administering the remaining estate. Nelson claims that the estate will go into bankruptcy before this year ends because of mismanagement by the bank. 

Aldrich Law Firm, PLLC

Aldrich Law Firm, PLLC
8700 Crownhill Blvd.
Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78209

Phone: 210-418-1150
Fax: 210-598-7221

8700 Crownhill Blvd. | Suite 200 | San Antonio, TX 78209
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